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Children’s Literature Festival

Update: Children’s Literature Festival

We didn’t have time to see everyone, but here’s who we did see and loved:

Cheryl Harness, author/illustrator and all-around comedian. She’s a hoot! And such a talented person. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of hearing her stories or seeing her draw. Secret: for awhile in her early career, she created designs on tissue boxes. She called herself the “snot rag queen.”

Eileen Christelow, author/illustrator of the FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS books and others. Quiet, unassuming, fun.

Sneed Collard III, author. I’ve heard him speak before and didn’t miss a chance to hear him again. In addition to being a great creative nonfiction writer (A PLATYPUS, PROBABLY), he’s ventured into midgrade novels, where I’m sure he’ll find an audience as well.

Barbara Robinson, author (THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER). Down to earth and funny, Barbara is the antithesis of the author prima donna. She uses a typewriter to produce her works. Her favorite book as a child? TREASURE ISLAND.

Roland Smith, author and crazy man (CRYPTID HUNTER, JACK’S RUN, ZACK’S LIE, TENTACLES). He was a tornado in blue jeans. Funny, poignant, captivating, interesting, serious scientist, goofy author. They put him in the auditorium because so many people wanted to see him–and that was just for the presentation I attended. This guy is a rock star.

What a great festival!

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42nd Annual Children’s Literature Festival, March 14-16, 2010

Each year for the last 42, the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg has held a huge children’s literature festival during the college’s spring break week. It’s an opportunity for elementary and middle school-aged kids and their teachers from all over the midwest to swarm the campus, lunch bags and cameras in hand, to meet, to listen to, and to learn from some of the greatest authors and illustrators in kidlit. And each year for the last 4 or 5, I’ve joined them, as a chaperon for my children’s fourth and fifth grade classes, or by myself. This year’s festival is right around the corner, and I can’t wait.

With so many great authors and illustrators to see, it’ll be hard to choose. Here’s the lineup:

C.S. Adler
William Anderson
Sandy Asher
Darleen Bailey Beard
Gary Blackwood
Joan Carris
J.B. Cheaney
Eileen Christelow
Sneed Collard
Shane Evans
Alane Ferguson
Micheal Graf
Jan Greenberg
Vicki Grove
Mary Downing Hahn
Cheryl Harness
David Harrison
Patricia Hermes
Jeanette Ingold
Richard Jennings
Veda Boyd Jones
Peg Kehret
Alexandria LaFaye
Dandi Daley Mackall
Claudia Mills
Anna Myers
Dorinda Nicholson
Marc Tyler Nobleman
P.J. Petersen
Barbara Robinson
Brenda Seabrooke
Gloria Skurzynski
Marie Smith
Roland Smith
Brad Sneed
Michael Spradlin
Roderick Townley
Terry Trueman
Vivian Vande Velde
Suzanne Williams
June Rae Wood


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Recent and Future Goings On

Did you know there’s an earthworm in Australia called the Giant Gippsland Earthworm that grows to six feet long? How do I know, you ask? Because friend and fellow writer, Ann Ingalls, and I have been researching interesting Australian critters. More on that later.(By the way, don’t mean to brag, but I have received my very own copy of Ann and her sister, Maryann Macdonald’s Little Piano Girl: The Story of Mary Lou Williams, Jazz Legend, and it is now signed by one of the authors. Just sayin’.)Humpty Dumpty will publish my poem “Found!” in its March/April 2010 issue! Thanks, TH.COLUMBIAKids published my poem “My Lists” in its Winter 2010 issue, out now. Have a look if you like. http://columbia.washingtonhistory.org/kids/fall2009/wordplay.aspxCan’t wait to attend the Children’s Literature Festival again this year at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg! This year the festival runs from March 14-16. What a great opportunity for school kids, authors, illustrators and bibliophiles in general to listen to and learn from some of the greats in kid lit.All the best!

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